Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

"Thank you, God, for the freedoms I and my family enjoy though we personally paid precious little for it. Thank you for stirring the hearts and courage of men and women to purchase and protect that freedom. Thank you, above all, for true freedom found only in You. Comfort the familes that have sacrificed their loved ones protecting this land by drawing them close to You. Amen."  -Jason Ketteman

Day 118, 119, & 120. Memorial Day Weekend

Dug out a few from my archives, and thought I'd post them in honor of Memorial Day weekend. Remembering those who serve so dearly for our country! God Bless AMERICA!

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 118. Roasting Marshmallows.

Last year sometime, my husband bought this firepit.  It has sat UNUSED on the back porch ever since.  I guess we just forget about it.  We had high hopes to break it out and the let the boys enjoy it... and last night, we finally did.  It was well worth it.  You can't tell by the photo, but these marshmallows are absolutely GINORMOUS!!!  Seriously.  We found them at Dierbergs, and my kiddos could not resist them.  I will say, however, the smaller (normal sized, large marshmallows) are tastier to roast.

This brought about an entire project for my husband.  He has spent a good portion of today redesigning part of our backyard, to make the firepit a permanent fixture.  :)  I suppose it's a little random, but he's on a mission, and I'm not about to stop his endeavors... because we'll all enjoy it, I'm certain of it!

Day 117. Jefferson City.

Interesting fact (according to

Capital or Capitol?

What is the difference between these two? Here’s how it breaks down . . .
The Capital is the city or town that is the seat of government in a state or nation.
The Capitol is the building in which the state legislative body meets.

I joined my son for a field trip to Jefferson City.  TWO HOUR BUS RIDE there.  TWO HOUR BUS RIDE back.  That's all I'm sayin'...

This is how I passed the bus time.  Yeah, I admit it...  While my not-so-little guy listened to my iTouch and goofed off with his friends, I sat and read... and paid very close attention to what was going on around me, I assure you.

As for my time with my son, it was certainly worth every second.  I only brought my little point-n-shoot, due to not wanting to carry around (or LOSE) my good camera.  But I actually had a fun time, learning things I was WAY more interested in as an adult, than I was when I had a similar field trip in highschool.  :)  Go figure!

We visited the governor's mansion first.  I was mostly intrigued by the ceilings and chandeliers.  It's amazing to me how intricately designed things were back then.  So ornate... and, in my humble opinion, gaudy! 

It isn't that I don't recognize the artistry, of course.  And I know that many would find it to be beautiful and elegant.  I also believe that elegance has truly been lost throughout the years, and we could use some restoration of it, for sure!

But could anything feel LESS inviting or "at home?"  HOWEVER, the detail and designs were indeed a sight to behold.

Our tour guide through the mansion was a sweet, little old lady.  She made me smile as she told her stories so enthusiastically.  She talked about this piece of furniture, and how it was designed with springs on the inside of each end.  Plates were placed on top of the springs, so when you removed one, the next would lift to the top.  I don't recall which governor it was, but one had his servants fill those sides with grain instead, so his horse could come in and join him for dinner, because he said that he'd rather share dinner with his horse ANY day, than the "elite" of his surroundings.  :)  The kids chuckled at that one.

The whole place, which was actually rather small (only the main level is open for tours and the rooms were relatively tiny compared to our nice, modern open floorplans of today), was covered in these paintings... of all of the governors' wives.  And they all creeped me out, with the exception of this one and one other.  A lot of them were dark and unhappy looking.  Again, I'm sure they were supposed to be regal-like, in some fashion... but to me, they just looked gloomy.

After the governor's mansion, we had lunch, and headed to the capitol building.  The main floor is covered in historical showcases, from fun things like these... to models of ships and submarines... historical and current facts about Missouri, etc.

I liked this building a lot more.  The spacious ceilings had room for the ornate decore (granted, it's a "few" years newer AND a little bigger deal).  Instead of looking cramped in a cluttered, tiny room, it was magnificent, bold, and strong... certainly a far cry from Missouri's very first capitol building.  I couldn't believe how much more I paid attention than the other times I've been there in my life.  It was like I looked at it all for the first time.  I wonder what my son will remember later, from his first visit there.

This was one of my favorite rooms.  Every wall in the room is a huge painting, done by Thomas Hart Benton.  He used EGGS as the base of the paint!  I loved hearing the stories behind this painting.  The mural stretches around the room, depicting different times of American history.  If you're interested to see more pics, click here.

We visited where the House of Representatives and the Senate meets.

My personal favorite.  There are inscriptions everywhere that make it awfully hard to deny the faith of our forefathers.  You know what's crazy?  This specific capitol building was built in completion in 1917... less than one hundred years ago.  Isn't it a trip to think how much we've changed?  There was a time, our public school teachers taught from the Bible.  Now, they can't even pray in their classroom.  I wonder when they'll start redesigning our old, historical buildings such as this, to remove God's name from our government completely. 

I'm thankful for the millions who have died, to ensure that I could be free.  Even more, I thank my heavenly Father, for His was the ultimate sacrifice; and in Him, we have eternal freedom.  Without Him, we would be nothing, and so would our country. 

One nation, UNDER GOD, with liberty and justice, for ALL!

Day 116. Friendship Bracelets.

Isn't funny how some things never die?  I can remember making SO many of these things "back in the day."  Apparently, they're still trendy to some degree.  My son got this idea that it would be fun to make a friendship bracelet for his classmates as an "end of the year" gift to them.  So, I headed off to WalMart to find the thread.  I expected to find what I found when I was a kid... a section of brightly colored loops of thread, at a very inexpensive price/per color.  Well, I'm sure you can get them that way SOMEWHERE, but not at WalMart.  No, this is a "craft project" now.  The only option I had was a box of "Friendship Thread," for $4.00.  I didn't get to choose the colors.  If I didn't get the box, I didn't get anything (from WalMart, that is).  Who knew?  And it even came with a little sheet of paper with "how to" instructions, which I ignored completely.  INSTRUCTIONS?  No way!  When I was a kid, we taught eachOTHER how to make the bracelets... that was kind of the whole point... we taught and learned from our FRIENDS, and then we would make a hundred of them and wear them all at one time!  :)  I know how to make TWO kinds, one of which, was not even explained on my "friendship thread directions."  So, I must be cooler than they are.  :)  And that's the one I taught my son, because it's pretty easy and relatively quick.  He has had a great time, threading his friendship bracelets, and he's very excited to give them to his friends.  In the meantime, I may be getting carpel tunnel from helping him out.... because we have to make 24 of them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 115. Good Times!

Doing lots of laundry today.  No time for snapshots, so you get to enjoy some oldies but goodies.  This is of my sister and myself, taken in 1981.  Aren't we cuties?  :)

My aunt and uncle bought us these matching dresses.  I remember LOVING them!  And of course the pigtails and straight bangs are the perfect "do" for a 5 and 3 year old.  I say it jokingly, but if I had a little girl, I would totally have her hair in pigtails ALL of the time!  :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 114. Crocs.

I kind of hate these shoes, I admit.  When they first came out, I thought they were the ugliest pair of shoes I'd ever seen, possibly next to the 80s style "jellies" I wore in elementary school.  As does several of the trends, they began to grow on me.  Their versatility is their biggest seller, in the case of buying them for my children.  However, I have never invested in the "real" Crocs, only the off brands, more commonly known as "not-Crocs."  These particular pairs have certainly seen better days.  I don't know where I got each pair.  More than likely, they came from Target or Payless, or some other inexpensive place to buy shoes.  But now I need to replace them, and I've found myself on a mission.  I kind of get obsessed with these kinds of things, until I find my solution.  Lucky YOU, to be let in on my little adventures!

The reason for my mission???  Well, apparently, the stores don't carry the "not-Crocs" anymore.  They're ridiculously difficult to find.  While I wouldn't normally invest $30 on a pair of shoes for my kids who are likely to outgrow them as soon as the receipt is in my wallet, I am willing to make an exception in this case.  My boys LIVE in these shoes!  I will NOT spend my $30 blindly, though.  I will search to find a bargain.  Even a slight discount will help, since I am in need of THREE pairs!  Goodness, gracious.

And this is just because... just because I'm easily distracted, and decided to take a picture of my impatiens on my way in the house, after my not-Crocs photo session.  :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 113. Ladybug.

My second son is thrilled with the warm weather we've had the last couple of days.  As soon as we got home from church and finished our lunch, he asked if he could go outside to play.  Moments later, he shouted from the back porch, "MOM!  You have to see this!"  He extended his hands, as a ladybug quickly crawled from one finger to the next.  Isn't it amazing how a child enjoys such simple pleasures?  Sure, my son has seen a ladybug before, but he hasn't lost his childlike fascination and interest in such things.
This morning, while finishing off the last of yesterday's leftover monkey bread, this same son of mine exclaimed to all of us, "I think I'm going to take little bites, so I don't waste the goodness of it!"  Seemed kind of profound, if you ask me.  :)  How often do we rush through something, without stopping to enjoy the goodness of it?  Yes, I think it would be wonderful if we could all recapture a moment of our childhood... before the innocence was lost and things were fresh and new... and everything had a taste of goodness in it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 112.

The family that runs together, stays together, right?  :)

This is far from the best picture, because I thought of it at the last second!  This was the first time my husband took the boys running with him this season.  It was also the very first time my youngest joined them at all!  It didn't occur to me until they were long out the door, to grab my camera!... which had no card in it!  So, I grabbed a card, and got back in time to take a quick snapshot just before they reached the corner.  Yes, my zoom lens would have been great for a moment like this, but who knew they were already up the hill and almost around the corner?!  Anyway, they had fun.  And I caught a moment, regardless.  My husband said our youngest had a blast, and didn't complain a bit!  He's a little ball of energy, so I wasn't too surprised.  He said he wanted to get some excersize and can't wait to go again!  :)  So cute.

Day 110 & 111. Happy Feet! :)

My neighbor invited us to come over for a few minutes after school yesterday.  They have this little treat in their back yard, that my boys envy tremendously.  :P  Those would be the feet of my youngest, up in the air.  He had a ball... Check out the toes of his socks, half off his feet.  Cracks me up.

My feet are much more content, firmly planted on the ground, I will say.  :)  The other night, I chose a funky, pearly-green polish for my summer toes.  :)  A girl needs a little color in her life, you know!  Have I mentioned I use the word "little" too much?  Yes, I'm aware of it, but I can't seem to change it.  WHY is that?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 107, 108, & 109.

I'm not even going to bother putting the pics in separate entries.  You all know I'm behind!  First, I'd like to say, that I KNOW that my mother, mother-in-law, and hubby are not my ONLY readers.  :)  I recognize the few others of you who keep up with my daily babble, and I think you're so wonderful for having even a slight interest.  :)  I was merely exaggerating for effect.  Who?  Me?  NEVER!  :) 

So, a few pics (and a couple more) to catch us up to Day 109.

This is me and my wonderful husband.  We were getting ready to go out with some friends that night (which was totally fun, I will add), and I had my oldest son snap a quick photo.  :)

This is our peanut butter.  It was sitting on the kitchen table after the boys left for school one day, and I decided to take a picture of it.  I will tell you that it has been a great switch from our used-to norm (JIF), but it has taken adjustment.  Stirring.  Refrigerating.  But guess what's in it?  Peanuts and..... Nope, that's it... PEANUTS!  Wonderful thing.  Makes our peanut butter cookies absolutely yummier than ever.

My day lilies are blooming, which is nice.  We have several of these throughout our back yard.  I love the yellow.  I think yellow has become a new favorite color over the years.  I really, REALLY like it!

This is Mandy-girl.  I gave the girls their baths yesterday, and thought she looked so cute and floofy again. 

This one has been EXTRA naughty these days.  Can you see the evil in her eye?  :)  She's thinking, "MAN!  When Mom is out here, I can't destroy the flower bed liners.  When is she going to go inside, so I can eat the flower pot?  Or roll and stomp around in the muddiest part of the yard, so I can track it all over the floors when I go inside?  Oh well, maybe I'll wait until I go inside, and when she's not looking, I'll sneak downstairs and throw the entire pile of clean laundry, piece by piece, around the whole basement floor?!  OR, if she's downstairs, I'll go into her bathroom and empty her trashcan, and unroll the whole roll of toilet paper all over the bathroom.  Yeah, that sounds like a GREAT idea!!!!  All she needs to do, is turn her head for a SECOND!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 106. Precious Memories.

This is a photo of my second born son, when we dedicated him as a baby.

This is simply a time of prayer, in front of our church family, with our pastor (this was our dear friend and worship pastor at the time), to promise to our child and to God, that as parents, we will teach that child about Jesus.  We will raise him in a Christ-following family, and hopefully, one day, when he is old enough to understand, he will choose to follow Christ himself.

For this precious son, that day was last week, on Mother's Day.  And, today, on this very same church platform, our son went forward and told our sweet pastor that he had asked Jesus into his heart and wanted to be baptized to show and tell everyone that he wants to live his live for Christ.

This morning, our pastor preached about heaven.  I sat through the service, contemplating what joy it is to know that two of my sons have now come to know Jesus as their Savior.

A.  Admit that you are a sinner, and need a Savior.
B.  Believe that Jesus is Lord, and that He died on the cross to take your place.
C.  Confess to everyone that you love Him and want to follow His will for your life.
D.  Demonstrate your decision by obeying Him and being baptized, demonstrating a picture of burying your old life, and starting a new one with Jesus Christ.

My son will remember this decision for the rest of his life.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. -2Timothy 3:15

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 105. Saturdays.

First, I ask that you forgive the horrendous quality of the photo.  I didn't get a single one in focus.  Oops!  Anyway... the subject matter is the point.

Pioneer Woman is becoming quite a vice in my home.  I don't know how she cooks like she does, and EATS like she claims, but stays the skinny minnie that she is!  Sheesh!  This is her Cinnamon Baked French Toast recipe.  I like to make a little something special for our breakfasts over the weekend.  In between sports seasons for the kids, our free Saturdays are welcomed and enjoyed immensely.  So, a rainy Saturday like today, called for a special treat.  This fit the bill.  It was a pretty big hit, I have to say.  My oldest didn't care too much for it, but it didn't stop him from polishing it off anyway.

And this is how my babies have spent this damp day... in their jammies, playing games... watchin' tv... hangin' out.  Before I left to run, I found all three, lounging on the couch with their 3D glasses on, watching Shark Boy & Lava Girl.  If you haven't seen this treasure of a film, you are missing out.  Oh my.

This is another part of my day... I've posted about my husband and his healthy lifestyle, that began a couple of years ago.  I find him to be amazing, truly.  I suppose he has gradually influenced me to get on board, between the food changes we've made for our family, even to the excersize.  Yes, it is true, I've started excersizing.  Cough.  Cough.  Kind of.

I always say that there's a "dark force" that has always plotted against my plans to excersize.  Something always gets in the way!!!  This was no different.  Only three weeks into my run/walk plan, I hurt my shoulder.  I had to take a week off, and it felt like I was completely starting over when I got back to it!  :(  Three weeks doesn't sound long, but it's kind of big for me to stay with it, even for that long.

You see, I don't LIKE to excersize!  I don't like to sweat.  I don't like to get physically worn out.  It makes me feel icky.  But I recognize the need to be and stay healthy for my family.  And if I don't start now, it will only get harder later.

So, here I go!  Today, I started my 7 minute run/3 minute walk week.  I found a plan for beginners in one of my hubby's runner magazines, and the goal is to be able to work up to running for a 30 minute period, straight.  And if I didn't know any better, I may just get it done!  I'm trying, anyway.

I probably bought those tennis shoes seven or eight years ago.  They're in pretty good condition, which tells you often I wear them.  They've felt more pavement in the last couple of months than they have in the rest of their lifetime.  But when I become a "real runner," I'll treat myself to a Fleet Feet purchase.  My husband swears by a GOOD pair of running shoes.  But I have to make it to 30 minutes first.  Then, I'll allow myself the reward!!!!  If buying new shoes doesn't give me incentive, nothing will!  :)

More Senior Fun.

I thought it might be entertaining to show my 3 readers out there (my mom, my MIL, and my hubby), one of the reasons I love taking senior pictures so much.  Well, if they're the only ones reading, then it's just a reminder, because they've seen it before.  :)  But it's fun, so why NOT?  :)

Once Upon A Time...

THIS is how senior portraits looked!  And we all thought they were fantastic! 

We dressed up in our "trendy" outfits, and fixed our '90s hairstyles.  Oh, and don't forget SOME of our reflections would be made to looks "studious."  Haha! Those who knew me "way back when," knew I was anything but!

...while other poses were meant to portray the more mature stage of the life we would soon be entering!
This was my parents' favorite.  It hung in a large 11x14 on my family's living room wall for a time.
And this one STILL hangs on a portrait wall in my parents' bedroom.  My mom has those fun "school pic" frames, with all five of her kids, including pictures from KG to senior year in highschool.  THAT is a parent's love, my friends.
So, there's a little taste of what a senior picture might look like, oh, around 1994.  Yikes.  No need to disect the styles and/or trends of the day.  We'll leave well enough alone, and suffice it to say that plenty has changed OTHER than photography style.  The fact is, they ALL looked like this (relatively).  Personality wasn't thrown in.  Individuality wasn't really considered.  We sat in a stuffy studio, under unnatural lighting, and did our best with the equipment of the day.

Sometimes, a stroll down memory lane just makes a girl awfully thankful for the blessings of TODAY (other than the fact that my "back then" waist was probably about the size of "today" thigh... but whatever!).  Speaking of which, I'm off to RUN in this beautiful, Saturday, rainy weather!  Later!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 104. Outside Fun?

My son had an outside activity day planned for Wednesday of this week.  They postponed it for today, hoping NOT get rained out.  And guess what?  It rained again, of course.  So, they shifted everything INSIDE.  These people are amazing, I have to tell you.  They are versatile and patient, and amazing at mastering crowd control.  The kids couldn't have been any happier, whether it was in the school hallways or out on the parking lot.  They had a blast.  And guess who didn't bring her camera?  Yeah, that would be me.  I'm so annoying.  So, I snapped a couple of photos with my horrible camera phone.  To think, there was a day, that the first digital cameras were only this kind of quality.  My, my, how far we've come!

This would be a chalk drawing of my son, playing a guitar, of course.
These would be hands covered in shaving cream.

This is the shaving cream portrait.

This is a portrayal of our family:  Dad, Mom, 3 Boys.

This is a painting of me and my son, holding hands, walking on a sunny day.Last, but certainly not least, the healthy lunch we both enjoyed at day's end.  :) 

Can I tell you how sincerely bummed I am about this school year ending?  These days pass way too quickly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 101, 102, & 103. Seniors.

Oh my goodness, I've been busy this week!  I'm trying to catch up on some session work.  Today was a treat, because I'm working on a senior session.  This is the second "official" senior session I've done, and I absolutely LOVE it!  I don't know... maybe it's the nostalgic thoughts that stir up in this thirty-something mommy of three.  Nah.  That time in my life is one I'd rather forget.  Looking back, there are SO many things I'd change!  I'm sure it will be no different for these young people.  But there's something so adventurous and refreshing to spend time with a senior in highschool.  They have an energy about them, ready to take on the world!  They're young and beautiful and unsure and determined and versatile.  I find it all to be endearingly wonderful.  So, to catch up on my "365," I thought I'd share some "senior" pics for you today.

Isn't she beautiful? I took these last fall. I was so ridiculously overwhelmed with her proofs, I could hardly stand it! There were too many choose from! I have a terrible habit of taking TOO many pictures! I suppose that can be a good thing, too. :)

So, these aren't anything new, and I didn't take them today.  BUT... if you recall, I make my own rules as I go along for this blog... which brings me to my next set of pics. 

Yes, I already posted some from this session a couple of days ago, but I've been working on them all day, and I now, I'm going to share some more!

OH!  I love it when people bring their doggies for pictures!  How adorable is this pair?!!!

I loved how this girl could change her expression in an instant.  She seemed to feel so comfortable and natural.  And I ADORE her eyes!
Simply breathtaking.

This will have to do for the timebeing.  I can't get anymore files on the blog while I'm uploading my proofs.  Back to work, I go!!!  Til next time!
My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.